180g(2 cups) cheddar, grated plus extra for topping
1tspmustard powder or Dijon mustard
Pinchfreshly grated nutmeg, optional
2large leeks, white parts only, finely diced
200g(7oz) mushrooms, sliced
320g(11oz) canned tuna steak, drained
Large handful fresh parsley, chopped, divided
Salt and pepper, to season
Make the cheese sauce. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat until melted.
Stir in the flour, stirring continuously, until you make a paste (called a roux). Don't let the roux brown, keep stirring.
Pour in a little of the milk, whisking continuously with a small balloon whisk (or stirring with a wooden spoon) until the liquid thickens.
Working quickly, keep adding more of the milk to the pan, gradually, whisking it in with each addition until all of the milk has been added and the white sauce is smooth and glossy.
Take the pan off the heat. Stir in the mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg if using and salt.
Add the grated cheese and stir it into the sauce until it melts. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water according to pack instructions. Set a timer to cook till al dente (with a bit of a bite to it) you don’t want limp overcooked pasta. Drain well.
Mist a large pan with cooking spray and sauté the leeks and mushrooms for five minutes, stirring, until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Add the softened vegetables to the pasta and mix together.
Stir in the tuna, half of the chopped parsley and a couple of ladlefuls of the cheese sauce.
Transfer to a large ovenproof baking dish and spread out. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the whole dish. Season with pepper and add a little grated cheese over the top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown in spots. Cool slightly before serving garnished with more chopped parsley.
LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS Your tuna pasta will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. Reheat in the oven or in a pan, adding a little milk if needed.CAN YOU FREEZE TUNA PASTA BAKE?You can freeze the assembled dish, before it is baked. Leave to cool completely first, cover with a layer of cling film and then a layer of foil, label and freeze for up to three months. Cook directly from frozen.SLIMMING WORLD TUNA PASTAThis recipe is quite calorific but you CAN make it lighter. Replace the butter for a reduced fat spread (such as Flora Light) and use skimmed milk and reduced fat cheese to make the sauce. The recipe will use some of your allowance for milk and cheese and works out at approximately 4 syns per portion for the Flora and flour.